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This article appears in the March 28, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

LaRouche Youth Movement
Takes On DLC War Party

by EIR Staff

As President Bush fled from the failing American economy into "imperial" war, Lyndon LaRouche's Presidential campaign, led by his growing youth movement, escalated its challenge to the Democratic Party to throw out its own war faction, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) represented by Sen. Joe Lieberman's and kindred candidacies. In mid-March, while the LaRouche Youth Movement on the East Coast stalked the halls of Congress and tens of thousands of LaRouche's statements circulated in the Washington area, his West Coast youth forces made a major intervention into the Democratic convention of the Party's largest state organization, in California.

In Sacramento on March 15-16, the LaRouche Youth Movement, with a force of 70 California members, and older LaRouche Democrats, drew blood with their persistent demand that the DLC be kicked out. Many of the traditional California Democrats agreed—they lustily booed a videotaped speech which Lieberman sent to the convention, and passed a motion to notify Lieberman of its hostile reception—but fought over the real question of backing LaRouche's leadership. This meant admitting that the DLC, more than a bad political faction, is run by the financiers of organized crime. And since Presidential candidate Lieberman and other DLC leaders have been begun telling party meetings that Democratic candidates "must not bring up FDR"—in the midst of worsening hard times—it meant admitting that the DLC actually represents a police-state response to economic depression. The Democratic Party is riven over the invasion of Iraq, but has no leader but LaRouche advancing policies to reverse the economic collapse. As LaRouche put it in his "Summary of the Strategic Situation" which the young organizers distributed at Sacramento, "It's Joe's [Lieberman's] Hitler, or Lyndon's FDR."

Rude Questions of War or Recovery

The LaRouche Youth Movement was everywhere—in the caucuses, on the floor of the convention, in front of the convention center, at the press briefings, and at the hospitality suites. Over and over, party officials asked, "How did LaRouche attract all these young people?" One senior Democrat commented. "This will shake up all the consultants and pollsters who argue that all young people are apathetic." Other party bureaucrats, less favorable, accused the youth of being "rude" due to their insistence that the convention take up the biggest problems: stopping the chicken-hawks' war, and forcing national and international recovery measures against rapidly deepening depression.

The LaRouche impact on the California convention, led by the youth organizers, accomplished three important objectives. First, enemies of LaRouche in the party were unable to get the state Democratic leaders to attempt to to keep LaRouche delegates and LaRouche youth organizers out of the convention, as the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had employed police and thug tactics at its Winter meeting in Washington Feb. 15-16, which it refused to invite LaRouche to address. State leaders and Black Caucus members supported the LaRouche backers' right to be there, struck by the number of youth from all educational and ethnic backgrounds LaRouche is recruiting. A LaRouche Democrats meeting the evening of March 15 at the convention was attended by more than 80 people, including convention delegates, and turned into a long question-and-answer session with LaRouche western states spokesman Harley Schlanger.

Secondly, the intervention successfully put on the agenda, the demand that LaRouche be invited to address the California state legislature—which is dominated by Democrats and which is facing a mind-boggling $34 billion state budget deficit—on his "Super-TVA" economic recovery strategy. Gov. Gray Davis' (D) spokesman Eric Bauman concluded his speech to the California Democratic Caucus by saying, "There are two things I have to tell the Governor: One, is the near-unanimous support for banning drivers' license profiling; and two, the request to bring LaRouche into the legislature." Governor Davis himself was told by LaRouche youth leader Summer Shields, "Are you aware that there are over 100 LaRouche organizers outside waiting for you to bring in LaRouche?" And one California DNC member inflated it further in his excitement, "When I saw 178 young people singing through the halls of this convention, I said, 'We're [the non-LaRouche Democrats] doing something wrong!' " The LaRouche youth had been singing "Oh, Freedom," and other civil rights spirituals.

Finally, the LaRouche Youth Movement members were able to shift the convention's focus on its first night, March 15, when they managed to force a mindless, Hollywood-like Young Democrats' "awards night"—complete with cheerleaders and pom-poms—to start discussing the urgent political/economic crisis. The session was then shut down, but as the Young Democrats and College Democrats re-entered the general convention, they were reading LaRouche's circulated statements. An alert Berkeley graduate journalism student videotaped the entire process, as the convention stopped and grew silent except for the singing of spirituals. As one delegate put it the following day, "LaRouche took over the building."

'Oh, Freedom'

With millions of rank-and-file Democrats wanting their leadership to do something to stop the crazed imperial war adventure of the Bush Administration, LaRouche Democrats provided clear, calm direction with the mass circulation of the candidate's "Strategic Summary" (see page 30) and his statement, "Stop Ashcroft's Himmler II Bill" (see page 42). This leadership was beautifully shown at a March 18 meeting of a district Democratic Party organization in Washington state. A group of LaRouche youth attended, and when one was called on, they sang, in chorus, the same "Oh, Freedom" spiritual, and then read the first paragraphs of the leaflet outlining LaRouche's action to stop Ashcroft's police-state moves. The entire meeting became a task-oriented discussion of LaRouche's approach to political intelligence and action, and how the collapse of the country into war and police-state could be stopped. Many showed they had been reading LaRouche literature in the past, and wanted to hear LaRouche Youth Movement speakers at their meetings in the future.